California Requires Reporting of Severe Staph Cases

The California Department of Public Health has added severe staph infections to the list of diseases health care providers must to their local health department. Severe cases are those in which there is an infection in a previously healthy person that results in death or admission to a hospital intensive care unit.

Section 2500(j) of Title 17 of the California Code of Regulations, which lists reportable diseases and conditions, was revised with this addition: "Staphylococcus aureus infection (only a case resulting in death or admission to an intensive care unit of a person who has not been hospitalized or had surgery, dialysis, or residency in a long-term care facility in the past year, and did not have an indwelling catheter or percutaneous medical device at the time of culture.)"

"Our goal is to prevent severe staph infections, including MRSA, to the greatest extent possible," said Dr. Mark Horton, the department's director. "By making severe cases of staph infections a reportable disease in California, we will be able to better understand the incidence these infections in California and who is at greatest risk."

Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA) is a type of staph infection that is resistant to certain antibiotics. "Gaining a better picture of the incidence of severe cases of staph infections in California will enable us to develop more robust prevention and control strategies," Horton said.

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